Today’s commercial real estate professionals are quickly adopting more mobile technology for work. This dramatic shift creates a positive impact on the industry and makes it easy for brokerages to upgrade the antiquated systems they currently use.
According to recent data released by inMotion Real Estate, these agents and brokers have been accessing mobile at a faster pace than ever before:
- Mobile use by commercial real estate agents increased by 61% from 2011 to 2012
- Commercial real estate websites accounted for 9% of total mobile traffic in 2012 and is forecasted to double in the next three years
Because smartphones and tablets have now penetrated the market to become primary devices, agents and brokers are getting on their ipad or iphone to use real estate apps and other newly created tools to manage their daily business tasks.
More specifically, real estate listing directories such as Loopnet and Costar are easily accessed. Having Internet access, email, and other online or cloud-based tools provides agents with the ability to sign and send documents directly from their mobile device. They can also access base maps, analytical tools and other important information as they work in the field.
There is no doubt the commercial real estate industry will greatly benefit from more mobile usage – increasing the speed at which all transactions take place, creating digitized versions of paperwork and giving customers a flexible way to interact.
However, this trend could potentially increase the level of risk an agent or broker may face. Without proper data encryption software or firewalls in place, mobile access may be more vulnerable to privacy issues, data breaches and the ultimate loss of important customer information.
A brokerage’s general liability policy may not provide enough protection for mobile technologies. Professional liability insurance coverage, such as Technology E&O or Privacy/Network Security can properly shelter brokerages from these expanding risks and help them avoid costly legal battles.